Panerai has refreshed its 1940 collection. Comprising six new models, the range was officially introduced at the 2013 Watches&Wonders exhibition that has just opened at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre on September 25th and will close on September 28th. The elegant and inconspicuous (well, at least as inconspicuous as a Panerai can be) the new Panerai Radiomir 1940 Chrono Monopulsante 8 Days GMT Oro Bianco (PAM 503) was among those six beautiful timekeepers. So far, thanks to a winning combination of an in-house manually-wound mechanism and surprisingly useful functionality, it looks the most interesting among them.
With its new Black Toro Perpetual Calendar + GMT, Ulysse Nardin expands its ultra-luxury "Toro" line with a model that features an appealing combination of matte and glossy black of its dial and strap with a polished rose gold body. While not breaking any design records (and not sporting any ultra-high-tech features unlike their earlier Ulysse Nardin Sonata Silicium,) this luxury timekeeper is still worth a closer look.
Christopher Ward has finally caught that 'worldtimer' superbug that keeps infecting European watchmakers at an alarming rate. Still, their new Chr.Ward C900 Worldtimer offers an unusual combination of functions: it not only tells you time both in the home and the second time zone, but also displays a three-letter airport code that makes it a tad easier to always set the correct time in the place of your current stay.
Omega Speedmaster, the legendary "space" chronograph that is never getting old, has recently been reintroduced as a "two-tone" model and also slightly refreshed. Available with at least two dials and two colors of 18-karat gold alloy, the 2013 Omega Speedmaster 57 (ref. 318.104.22.168.01.001) is more in line with their current product range.
Presented during the Inside Basel.Geneva 2013 tour, the Carl F. Bucherer Patravi ScubaTec automatic diver is their first professional-grade diving tool. While not terribly original in its styling, this is still an interesting option for those tired of Rolex/Omega dominance on the "luxury tool watch" market and not afraid of the retail price, which is set dangerously close to $7000 mark.
The sporty C1 Chronograph family was seriously refreshed earlier this year with the styling of their dials more congruent with that of their prominent cases. Now, Concord introduces yet another version. Combining mirror-polished 18-karat rose gold, glossy black ceramics, as well as PVD-treated, high-grade titanium alloy, the 2013 Concord C1 Chronograph Black & Gold (Ref. 0320227) is similar to Porsche 911 GT3 in its versatility: just like the latter can be used both on a track and as a daily commuter, you can wear the former both during office hours and in a night club.
I don't know whether it is the postmodern lack of new ideas or an attempt to return to the brand's roots, but, during the recent years, Longines shows a great interest in its past. There were dozens of vintage-styled models paying homage to the period starting in the 1910s and going all the way to the 1970s. This new Longines Avigation Oversize Crown GMT (Ref. L2.778.4.53) takes the "homage" idea a step or two further offering a well-balanced compilation of its 1920s trench watches.
Offered at almost $380,000 and crafted from expensive Platinum 950 alloy, the 2013 Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionnelle 14-Day Tourbillon (Ref. 89000/000P-9843) with its modest styling and compact size is a quintessence of inconspicuous consumption. With its moderately oversized case and a time-proven, bullet-proof reliable mechanism, it is a trinket for the kind of people who would prefer a vintage Rolls-Royce to a brand new Koenigsegg.
The Fortis B42 Marinemaster range of diving tools has recently been expanded with a Yellow Collection. Comprising an ETA Valjoux 7750-powered automatic chronograph and a more traditional-looking Fortis B-42 Marinemaster Yellow Day/Date (Ref. 670.24.14) three-hander, the collection differs from the rest of Marinemaster family only with its more jovial (and also more legible) color scheme that adds acid-bright lime accents to the bezels and dials.
Limited to just 250 units, the new Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Rainbow automatic chronograph (Ref. 24.2063.405/21.R515) pays homage to the legendary 1997 Rainbow Flyback that was officially supplied to the French Air Force pilots. The 1997 model stayed in production for around four years and was limited to some four thousands units, give or take. In fact, the old model proved to be so popular among true connoisseurs that even now it is often offered at around $4000 for a piece, which is obviously far from "mint" condition. Now, tell me about synchronicities.